Over 19,000 Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) students Tuesday began their practical examinations at 142 sites across the country and are expected to be concluded by September 25.
The exams, now known as Rwanda TVET Qualification Framework (RTQF) Level 5, were launched by the Minister of Education, Dr Eugene Mutimura, at Nyamirama TVET in Kayonza District.
According to Leonard Manirambona, the National Coordinator of TVET practical examination at Rwanda Polytechnic, the exams will be carried out in 39 fields.
They include culinary art, forestry, animal health, plumbing, masonry, electronics, industrial electricity, telecommunication, road construction, surveying, hospitality and music, among others.
"There is also a uniqueness; it is the first time people learning professional football, such as match officiating, are doing exams," he affirmed.
Sandrine Umutoni, an 18-year old female plumbing student at the school in Kayonza, told The New Times that she is sure to pass the exams.
"I am confident that I will succeed," she stated.
Once she passes, Umutoni wants to pursue water and sanitation studies at university.
Although she is from Huye District in the Southern Province, Umutoni dreams of contributing to find a solution to the water problem in Eastern Province where her school is located.
"As plumbers, we are in charge of four things; maintenance, installations, repairing and replacing.
"In the Eastern Province, there is a shortage of water, after completing university, my dream is to help handle those kinds of issues," she declared.
Umutoni is one of 133 candidates in plumbing, electricity, carpentry, tailoring, masonry and welding doing exams at Nyamirama TVET site.
Mutimura announced that the institutions in charge have successfully prepared the examinations, and expects the process to be successful.
This is the first time the students are doing the exams individually. Previously it used to be done in groups.
"In the past years, the students were given 25 minutes explaining what they could do, but now, the exams comprise of giving them five or six hours, some even get seven hours, to do what they are in charge of doing, whether installing a machine in the industry or installing a solar panel, among others," explained the minister.
"We urge teachers that their teaching style be based more on practicals than theories in papers like it used to be," he suggested, adding that it would benefit the students more.